World War One was a watershed in American history. The United States' decision to join the battle in 1917 "to make the world safe for democracy" proved pivotal in securing allied victory — a victory that would usher in the American Century.
In the war's aftermath, individuals, towns, cities, counties, and states all felt compelled to mark the war, as did colleges, businesses, clubs, associations, veterans groups, and houses of worship. Thousands of memorials—from simple honor rolls, to Doughboy sculptures, to grandiose architectural ensembles—were erected throughout the US in the 1920s and 1930s, blanketing the American landscape.
Each of these memorials, regardless of size or expense, has a story. But sadly, as we enter the war's centennial period, these memorials and their very purpose—to honor in perpetuity the more than four million Americans who served in the war and the more than 116,000 who were killed—have largely been forgotten. And while many memorials are carefully tended, others have fallen into disrepair through neglect, vandalism, or theft. Some have been destroyed. Watch this CBS news video on the plight of these monuments.
The extant memorials are our most salient material links in the US to the war. They afford a vital window onto the conflict, its participants, and those determined to remember them. Rediscovering the memorials and the stories they tell will contribute to their physical and cultural rehabilitation—a fitting commemoration of the war and the sacrifices it entailed.
We are building a US WW1 Memorial register through a program called the Memorials Hunters Club. If you locate a memorial that is not on the map we invite you to upload your treasure to be permanently archived in the national register. You can include your choice of your real name, nickname or team name as the explorers who added that memorial to the register. We even have room for a selfie! Check the map, and if you don't see the your memorial CLICK THE LINK TO ADD IT.
This World War I monument consists of a life-size statue of a doughboy standing at attention in full uniform with the barrel of a rifle in his right hand and the butt of the rifle on the ground. The figure is set upon a granite plinth, square in cross-section, with an angled top, resting on a rusticated granite slab.
A bronze plaque mounted on the front of the plinth contains the names of local soldiers from Belford, Port Monmouth & New Monmouth, NJ who served in the war. The monument sits on a low mound to heighten its prominence.
Photo courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office
This monument consists of a bronze WWI soldier in uniform holding a rifle in his left hand & a grenade in his right hand. He wears a helmet, shirt, belt with packs, pants & boots.
It appears this statue was recently moved from its original granite base to the current polished black stone, 3-tiered base.
The original bronze honor roll plaque has been restored and mounted on a separate, nearby stone pillar.
Photos courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office
In 1919, township resident and Civil War veteran John Yard donated the land for the 17-foot war memorial. The statue itself is fabricated from concrete, one of four doughboys in the state that uses this material. He stands atop a 10-foot tall, square pedestal inscribed with the names of 15 men from the then Washington Township who served in World War I. (Later, the back side of the monument was inscribed to honor those who served in World War II.) The statue was unveiled on October 16, 1920. More than 1,000 people attended the event.
Narrative adapted from Cathy Zahn, "Nearly a Century Old, but Doughboy's Message of Patriotism is Timeless," Robbinsville Sun website.
Photo Credit: Sheena Chi
This version of a doughboy was sculpted by Italian-American sculptor Gaetano Federici who emigrated to the United States and settled in Paterson.
The memorial consists of a statue of a World War I soldier mounted on a rectangular base. The base is flanked by four steles commemorating other wars. The soldier is painted bronze and stands with a rifle, butt end down in his left hand. At his side, he holds a grenade in his clenched right fist. The sculpture is mounted on a square base with a commemorative plaque on the front. It was originally dedicated on Memorial Day 1926 on the grounds of the community house in Midvale.
Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000307.
Photo courtesy of: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)
Unknown Battles around base: :Chateau Thierry, Belleau Wood Cantigay, Meuse Argonne, Soissons St. Mihiel. On wreath: Loyalty, Courage, Sacrifice, Victory Located at 38deg, 59', 31N", 74deg, 48"52"W
Erected by the Service Star Legion Porter Doughtie Chapter.
1 Park St.
June 17, 1926
The Doughboy Monument is a large monument built to commemorate the soldiers who fought in The First World War. This monument is surrounded by grassy lawns and houses a public restroom. The monument was constructed in 1926.
A World War I soldier stands at parade rest. Both hands clutch the barrel of his rifle, the butt of which rests on the ground. He wears a helmet, shirt, pants and boots and leans his right leg against a stump. He stands atop a granite, multi-tiered base. The front of the base contains a plaque honoring the veterans of Highlands.
Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000175.
Photos courtesy of:
Near the intersection of N. Main St. & N. Broad St.
WWI Memorial Fountain
Dr. John Taylor lived in this house and practiced medicine here. The Colonial Revival design of the house reflects a reaction against the ostentatious residences of the Victorian era.
The house was purchased by the Town of Boonton in 1921 as a memorial to World War I veterans. It served as the Town Hall until 1965 and is now the home of American Legion Post 124 and the Boonton Historical Society.
Narrative adapted from Morris County Heritage Commission website.
Image courtesy of: Dan Beards, Morris County Heritage Commission
No additional information at this time.
This World War 1 Memorial was dedicated in 1923. It is easily seen on Montauk Highway on South side ( eastbound ) ( It is in front of a medical building ) It list the name of Veterans.
The Eastern High School Alumni flagstaff commemmorates seven former Eastern High students who were killed in the Spanish-American War and World War I. Paid for by alumni of the school, the flagstaff stands before the school's main entrance. It was in place when the school moved to this then-new building on March 1, 1923.
Eaton Rapids Community War Memorial
We dedicate this plaque
"Dedicated to the glory of God and all the veterans of the Bowman Community, more especially to these who have given their lives for our nation's cause".
Originally known as Service Star Legion Park, the area includes a Wilson tree, a Service Star monument, a World War I memorial, and oaks planted in memory of World War I soldiers.
From 1923 to 1984, this 1.8 acre tract was managed by the Service Star Legion of Elbert County. It was originally donated in memory of LT Edmund Brewer Tate, III, killed in action in the Argonne forest battle on Oct. 12, 1918. Since 1984, the renamed ‘Memorial Park” is managed by Elbert County. It contains multiple markers honoring Elbert County dead from all U.S. wars.
Classy old carved limestone doughboy statue between two buildings in downtown Elkhart (one block long). Repaired a few year ago by the citizens of Elkhart.
2750 North Lakeview Avenue
July 14, 1926
The Elks Veterans Memorial is a tribute to the bravery, loyalty and dedication of the thousands of Elks who have fought and died for our country. It has been described as one of the most magnificent war memorials in the world, but with its monumental architecture and priceless art, the Memorial is more a symbol of peace and of the patriotism of the members of the Elks fraternity.